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I have some marjoram, rosemary and a curry plant bought this year.  The curry plant says protect from frost, so I have brought it in for the winter, but will the marjoram and rosemary be ok left outside?  I also have some small clematis and lavender grown from cuttings - will they withstand the winter?

Many thanks


the rosemary and marjoram will be fine left outside - the marjoram may well disappear underground over winter but will come back in the spring. Just make sure both of them are in well-drained soil or pots as they hate sitting in cold wet soil. Re the cuttings, they would probably be best given a bit of protection but a cold frame or cold greenhouse should do.

Thanks for your reply, I am relieved to hear that the rosemary and marjoram will be ok outside - the marjoram has already turned brown so I will not be surprised if it disappears.

How do I make a cold frame?

Thanks again


It does depend where you are.  I bring all my herbs into the greenhouse for winter, but even so I always lose some.  Parsley stays out as it's planted in the soil, not in a pot.


flowering rose

I bring rosemary,lavender in pots,sage and any that are from a hot country.


My herbs all go in GH because they are in terracotta pots and don't want the pots to crack. I do have Rosemary in the garden but I let that flower. Same with sage.

In Yorkshire my curry plant has proved hardy, in a free draining area. I don't really see it as a herb as it's not used it in cooking, I just like the smell of it in the graden, it reminds me of Greek holidays

Sure someone else will advise about building a cold frame.


I have to bring in rosemary, sage, thyme and bay or they freeze to death.

A coldframe can be as simple or as grand as you like and made form wood or brick sides and a clear glass or plastic top which can be hinged or just lain on top.  It depends on how big you want it to be and what materials you have to hand or are prepared to buy.

Google "cold frame" and you'll find plans and videos galore.


Are you lot being conservative with bringing in Rosemary, Lavender etc? I know those to shrug off -20C.


I get worse than -20C and if it comes without snow to give a protective blanket, it's devastating.

obelixx wrote (see)

I get worse than -20C and if it comes without snow to give a protective blanket, it's devastating.

That makes rarely gets below -3C where I live. My problem is that cold weather last half a year. I have relatives in Inverness and the Lavender and Rosemary just ignore the snow and double digit weather.


My first frost last year was -6C.  The year before we had deep snow in December and -15C.  January and February saw us down to -25C for about 3 weeks with no snow.

Last year wasn't that cold but we had an early burst of warm weather which was just enough to get plants excited and start into growth then wham, frosts in late March which killed off all the new growth and frosts in April and May which wiped out a lot of blossom.  I lost my blueberries but friends lost half their apples and pears and all their damsons.


My rosemary's in a pot and stays out all winter along with mint, marjoram, thyme, chives, garlic chives, sage, lemon balm and parsley. 

Parsley's a biennial and best sown one year to produce the following year and does grow again after being buried in snow. I've found it's less likely to bolt if sown the year before.

Some herbs are best planted as annuals, basil and corriander spring to mind.  

Not sure about the curry plant but your clematis should be ok in a sheltered spot, out of the wind and where it's less likely to be covered in snow, put the pot near to the house where it will be slightly warmer and don't let the pot get water logged. Depending on the variety it will become dormant in the winter so will not need to take up as much water and a water loggged pot is more likely to freeze, damaging the roots, causing the plant to die.


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